Baby+Co closing its NC birth centers including 1 in Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Baby+Co is closing its three birth centers in North Carolina, according to a statement on its website.

The centers are located in Winston-Salem, Cary and Charlotte.

The company cited market conditions and the payer landscape in the state, saying that the centers in North Carolina were financially unsustainable.

Mariana Hernandez expected to give birth to her baby girl at the center in July. She said she was shocked to learn about the closures Tuesday afternoon.

“I had planned this from the start, and I was really really excited and now everything is just crashing down," she said. "I’m so devastated.”

Hernandez said finding another birthing center in the area isn't easy and she will likely give birth in a hospital.

Chelsea Tate, with La Bella Birth and Baby in Lexington, says they've been working to find families other options.

"A lot of what we’re navigating right now is families for coming to us for who are also shocked and also devastated, and heartbroken. (They're) also confused and scared and terrified, no idea where to turn,” she said.

Tate assisted births at the center and said it was a soothing place for mothers to labor.

"A lot of them are having to sacrifice a lot of their birth plan and a lot of their expectations in order to find care,” she said.

The centers made headlines last year, after a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services review identified a number of concerns.

The review followed the deaths of three infants at the center in Cary.

Baby+Co's website statement reads:

“We have made the difficult decision to close our three birth centers in North Carolina. We did not make this decision lightly, but market conditions and the payer landscape in North Carolina made these centers financially unsustainable.

Our passionate and talented team of midwives and employees have cared for over 4,000 women and families in North Carolina. We are extremely proud of the quality of care and experiences we provided.

Despite challenging market conditions, we have a proven track record for our innovative model of maternity care, while saving payers and families in North Carolina $27 million. Some of our accomplishments include:

C-section rates that are 3x lower than the low-risk c-section rate in the hospital (8% v. 24%).
Pre-term birth rates that are a third of North Carolina’s average 3% v. 10% Fetal and newborn mortality rate that is half of the perinatal mortality rate for low-risk births in the hospital 0.42% v 0.64% Net promoter score of 90, nearly unheard of in health care and well above labor and delivery average of 65

We understand the impact our decision has on patients and midwives and are committed to supporting them through this process.

We remain committed to the cause of improving maternity care in the United States because the current system remains broken. We will continue our efforts to provide a financially sustainable and scalable model of maternity care with our center in Nashville and elsewhere.”

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